Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski’s black and white drama Cold War won the European Film Academy’s top prize on Saturday. Lead actress Joanna Kulig was also presented with an award for her role as the enigmatic singer Zula, and the film also scooped up screenwriting, editing, and the director’s award.
“Thank God this kind of cinema is being made,” the filmmaker said when accepting his prize.
Pawlikowski’s film about two musician lovers struggling to find a way to be together and maintain artistic integrity in communist Poland had already wowed audiences at the Cannes Film Festival in May, where he was also crowned best director.
The 61-year-old filmmaker also gained international praise for his last film, Ida, which dealt with the legacy of Judaism in Poland after World War II which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2015.
Cold War was not the only Soviet-era film to win at the awards ceremony in Seville, Spain. British filmmaker Armando Ianucci’s The Death of Stalin won the best comedy prize.
Another British talent is the legendary actor Ralph Fiennes who received a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to film industry on Saturday. “Can I be both British and European?” Fiennes said as he accepted the prize, “I say passionately: yes.”